You’ve heard of the biggest cons....
San Diego Comic Con. DragonCon. Anime Expo.
Huge, extravagant gatherings full of celebrity panels, industry announcements, product showcases, and elaborate costumes. Sometimes more than 100,000 people attend these events!
Conventions (usually called “cons”) cover every corner of pop culture. They can be a ton of fun, obviously, and they’re a great way for brands and entertainment companies like Disney, Marvel, and DC to tell fans about their newest offerings.
But if you’ve never attended one…
You need to. Like, this year. (Okay, maybe not this year, but soon, is what we’re saying.)
Let’s talk about why you should give the “con life” a try.
1. It really comes down to one thing: the people.
There’s truly no experience quite like spending a weekend surrounded by people who Get It…
You know, people from all walks of life who love the thing you love just as much as you love it.
People who are just as quirky and geeky and unique as you are.
People who will certainly become new friends, because before you even start talking to each other, you already know you have something big in common.
At conventions, the opportunity to “geek out” with fellow fans leads to excellent parties, plenty of laughter, and fascinating conversations that can last long into the night. The friendships people forge over con weekends stay strong year-round and often last for life, and that alone is more than worth the modest price of admission.
2. Cons offer chances to hear experts talk about the stuff that interests you.
On top of the fun social atmosphere and geeky commiseration, cons are gathering places for experts, specialists, and other professionals you definitely want to meet. These folks generally talk on what we con-folk call panels—organized spaces to speak, usually in a hotel ballroom or conference room. And panels are an indispensable part of the con experience.
If you’re a writer, artist, gamer, or cosplayer, you’ll learn more about your craft from a weekend of quality panels than you’d learn from a year of staying home and reading about it. And who knows? You might even meet one of your favorite creators and get some one-on-one advice!
Panels aren’t always about serious talk, of course; they often go off on tangents and end up in hilarious and unexpected places, but that unpredictability is one of the best parts!
3. Cons have plenty of other wicked awesome entertainment, too.
When you’re not in panels, most cons will have plenty more to keep you occupied:
Many have a gaming hall where you can find some friends for a game of Settlers of Catan, play a quick game of Magic, or post up and spend all weekend in an intense DnD campaign. Some also have video game consoles and arcade machines set up as well!
A lot of cons have cosplay contests. Definitely seize the opportunity to dress up as your favorite character, or just check out the amazing craftsmanship of the costumers around you...seriously, some of them are mind-blowingly good.
The Dealers' Room is where you can buy all sorts of cool geeky merch that you can’t usually find; comics, clothes, collectibles, art, books, handmade crafted items...sometimes dealers even show up with 3D printers!
Once you’re done shopping (for now!), look for the “Con Suite.” The con suite—which is standard at most cons—is a place where you can get free refreshments (snacks, drinks, etc.) and recharge.
You’ll never get bored at a good convention!
4. There’s a con for everybody!
We mentioned some of the big conventions before, but did you know there are also smaller cons that cater to just about every kind of fan and fandom that exists?
For example, say you’re a fan of science fiction, fantasy, horror, comics, etc. and want a fun multi-fandom experience without huge crowds, lines, and inflated prices: Multiverse is custom-made for you.
Sherlock fan? There’s 221BCon every spring.
Is the Harry Potter universe your thing? Try LeakyCon.
Ah, so you’ve read all 16 books in the Wheel of Time and can’t wait for the TV show to start? Well then, you’ve gotta get to JordanCon.
You get the idea. Every con is different, but it’s pretty much guaranteed there’s one out there for you.
Get thee to a con! You’ll never forget it.
The con experience is so fun and exciting, and the “con family” relationships so rewarding, that if you’re a fan of anything geeky you owe it to yourself to give it a try. You can research cons in your area at UpcomingCons, or check out Multiverse right here on this website.
Either way...find a con that fits your fandom, and we’ll see you there!